GENERIC NAME: ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE - ORAL (a-LOO-mi-num hye-DROX-ide)
BRAND NAME(S): Alu-Cap, Alu-Tab, Amphojel
USES: Aluminum hydroxide is used to lower phosphate levels in certain kidney conditions. It binds phosphate in the gut so less is absorbed into the body. Controlling phosphate levels helps prevent bone problems (renal osteodystrophy).This medication is also used to treat the symptoms of too much stomach acid such as stomach upset, heartburn, and acid indigestion. Aluminum hydroxide is an antacid that works quickly to lower the acid in the stomach. Liquid antacids usually work faster/better than tablets or capsules.This medication works only on existing acid in the stomach. It does not prevent acid production. It may be used alone or with other medications that lower acid production (e.g., H2 blockers such as cimetidine/ranitidine and proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole).
HOW TO USE: If you are using this medication to bind phosphate, take it by mouth, usually 3-4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. If you are using this medication as an antacid for self-treatment, take this medication by mouth between meals and at bedtime. Follow all the directions on the product package or use as directed by your doctor. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.If you are using the chewable tablets as an antacid, chew the tablets well before swallowing. Chewing the tablets helps the antacid work better. The capsules may be swallowed whole, but if you have difficulty swallowing the capsules, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.This product contains aluminum, which may react with other medications (e.g., digoxin, iron, tetracycline antibiotics, quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin), preventing them from being fully absorbed by your body. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to schedule your medications to prevent this problem.If your acid problems persist or worsen after you have used this product for 1 week, or if you think you have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention. If you are using this medication regularly for self-treatment on a daily basis for more than 2 weeks, you may have a medical problem that needs different treatment. Ask your doctor whether this is the right medication for you.
SIDE EFFECTS: Constipation may occur. This could lead to other problems such as hemorrhoids and bowel obstruction. If constipation persists or worsens, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.To minimize constipation, drink plenty of fluids and exercise. Using an antacid that contains magnesium along with this product can help prevent constipation. Stool softeners may also be helpful. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other antacids, stool softeners, and laxatives.Aluminum-containing antacids bind to phosphate, an important body chemical, in the gut. This can cause low phosphate levels if your kidneys are normal, especially if you use large doses for a long time. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of low phosphate: loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, muscle weakness.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects or symptoms of a serious medical problem occur: black/tarry stools, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), deep sleep, pain with urination, stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to aluminum hydroxide; or if you have any other allergies.If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: frequent alcohol use, severe loss of body water (dehydration/fluid restriction), problems with constipation, kidney problems (including kidney stones).This product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: If you are taking this medication under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Antacids can interfere with the absorption of many other drugs. Be sure to check with your pharmacist before taking antacids with any other medication.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and diet changes (e.g., avoiding caffeine, fatty foods, certain spices) may increase the effectiveness of this medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is near the time for the next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: If you are using the prescription product, store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from heat, light, and moisture. If you are using the non-prescription form for self-treatment, refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines out of reach of children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
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